Women Listening to Women: A History of Self-Injury & Mental Health Activism

Date / time: 28 April, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Women Listening to Women: A History of Self-Injury & Mental Health Activism


Find out about the gendered stereotypes of self-harm, and how pioneering women-led services like Self Injury Support have countered them.

In April 1986 a group of women in Bristol who considered themselves both feminists and survivors of psychiatric treatment came together to found the Bristol Crisis Service for Women (BCSW). Organised as a collective and with scant funding, the group drew on the feminist practice of consciousness raising to develop its work. It also took inspiration from the Survivor Movement, that rejected the medical model of mental illness, condemned the barbarity of much psychiatric treatment and campaigned for mentally ill people to have a much greater say in their treatment.

This free public event, hosted by the RCN Mental Health Forum’s Lived Experience sub-group, puts the history of BCSW (now Self Injury Support) into the context of women’s mental health activism and the history of gendered stereotypes of self-injury. Chaired by Hannah Cadogan, our speakers are Sarah Chaney, Jeanette Copperman, Rosie Wild and Sandy Walker. We will explore what we can learn from the fascinating story of this DIY feminist counselling service, which has been the subject of a two year oral history research project, Women Listening to Women, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Find out more at: https://www.womenlisteningtowomen.org.uk/

Content warning: This event will explore mental distress, self-injury and the life experiences associated with these themes. If you’d like more information, get in touch with us on rcn.library@rcn.org.uk

This event is open to all, and will take place online. Please sign up to attend and the link to join will be circulated in advance.

Read the full terms and conditions for our events here: https://www.rcn.org.uk/library/-/media/royal-college-of-nursing/documents/library/library-and-archive-service-events-terms-and-conditions-july-2021.pdf?la=en&hash=0AC9A17CFDE0AB63856E2788EEF455A6.